We left Washington and started one of the most leisurely drives in the US: Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Both are run by the National Park Service. Combined, they are 560 miles long. Max speed on Skyline is 35 mph (60 km/hr); on the Blue Ridge, 45 mph (70 km/hr). Access to each is very controlled, and although you are in some cases driving through suburbs of major cities (ie; Roanoke), there's only one way on and off. These are not fast routes.
But they are pretty and scenic. The road undulates along the top of one of the Appalachian Mountains, at elevations normally about 2,500', but as high as 4,000' and as low as 650'. In most places, they ride the top of the ridge, or swing from one side to the other, offering incredible vistas of the Shenandoah valley below to the west, and other valleys to the east.
Skyline Drive is the north end, and starts at Front Royal, Virginia. It runs the length of Shenandoah National Park, and has overlooks every mile or so for the whole 105 mile length. Here's the views from some of them.
|Looking south. Note the cloud pouring over the ridge|
|Looking at that cloud pouring over the ridge from up close|
|Clouds build and threaten|
|Hangin' out the window|
|Up close and personal with clouds|
|Farms in the valley below|
|A deer greets us at the start|
|I scramble up a section|
|Karen tackles a section|
|On the summit|
|Misty mountains that aren't misty|
|To the east|
|There's a lake down there!|
|1926 Ford in front|
|Late in the afternoon, southern Virginia|
|The lower cascades|
|Only about 200' of track has been rebuilt|
|A lock going nowhere|